Who (or what) are the Umbrella Academy?

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Credit: Gabriel Bá and Dave Stewart (Dark Horse Comics); from The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite

Dr. Pogo and Mrs. Grace Hargreeves

Hargreeves adoptive children weren’t completely deprived of love and affection. Two members of his household treated them as better parents than Hargreeves ever did. One was his aide-de-camp, Dr. Pogo (voiced by Adam Godley), and the other was the children’s “mother,” Grave Hargreeves (played by Jordan Claire Robbins).

In the setting of The Umbrella Academy, Sir Hargreeves developed a process for enhancing the intelligence of chimpanzees. As a result, chimpanzees have worked alongside their human counterparts for decades, presumably having the same rights and privileges as humans. Dr. Pogo is one of these chimpanzees, fitting the archetype of the kindly butler. Think Alfred Pennyworth, only shorter and more hirsute.

As for Mrs. Hargreeves, she’s not Sir Hargreeves’ wife, nor is she even human. She’s some sort of automaton created from an anatomical mannequin with detachable arms, visible “organs”, and no legs. Why Sir Hargreeves created her is unknown, but she does seem to care about her “children.” Whereas Sir Hargreeves assigned the children numbers, Mrs. Hargreeves gave them their names. Although, the latest Umbrella Academy comic series, Hotel Oblivion, also hint at some hidden agenda of her own.

Credit: Gabriel Bá and Dave Stewart (Dark Horse Comics); from The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite

Luther Hargreeves, a.k.a. Spaceboy, a.k.a Number One

Of all the Umbrella Academy members, Luther Hargreeves is the one who embraces being a superhero the most. He fits all the traditional superhero tropes: he’s super strong, extremely durable, a natural leader, and altruistic to a fault. There’s only one non-traditional aspect about him: he’s a literal gorilla from the neck down.

In The Umbrella Academy‘s timeline, Luther became the youngest person ever to go into space, hence his codename, “Spaceboy.” However, after nearly dying during a mission to Mars, Sir Hargreeves transplanted Luther’s head onto the body of a Martian Ape to save his life. This was likely because, by Sir Hargreeves own admission, Luther was his favorite. It’s also why he designated Luther as “Number One” and made him the team leader. Likewise, Luther obeyed his adoptive father without question.

This hasn’t gone over well with his adoptive siblings, as they regard Luther as a self-righteous stick-in-the-mud. It doesn’t help that Luther only addresses his adoptive siblings by their codenames. Luther also has romantic feelings towards Allison. He’s never acted on them not just because she’s his adoptive sister and teammate, but also because he believes he’s incapable of being anything else other than a superhero.

Based on the teasers and trailers, it looks as though the NetFlix series has made Spaceboy (played by Tom Hooper) have a less primate-looking body due to budgetary constraints. Hopefully, however, it will keep his characterization intact.